Ask the Vet with Dr. Doug Pernikoff

Clarkson Wilson Veterinary Clinic

Q: My 3-year-old dog, Suzie, went out to go to the bathroom the other day and pooped—after sniffing it for some time, she ate it. She went through a phase where she did this as a puppy, and I thought she grew out of it. Now that she’s back at it, what can I do to stop this?

A: Dogs exploring and eating stool is not an uncommon action. People report this problem to us very frequently. I always ask folks to have them bring their dog in for an examination to include a fecal review and a review of their body weight over time. In more extreme cases, your veterinarian may even suggest blood tests to rule out other body problems or special issues like mineral deficiencies, as possible causes for this obnoxious behavior. The second most obvious suggestion is to attempt to keep your pet from accessing the stool. This may require walking your Suzie on a leash, rather than allowing her freedom to run the yard without direct supervision. Finally, many veterinarians will suggest a product like ‘Forbid’, which is fed directly to your dog in their food, and deters them from interest in stool. Anecdotally, people have suggested sprinkling ‘Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer’ directly onto stool in the yard. The problem here is that you are obligated to search around the yard for your pet’s stool, and possibly the stool of other pets or feral animals traversing that space.

Dr. Douglas PernikoffABOUT the Vet:

Dr. Douglas Pernikoff, affectionately referred to as “Dr. Doug”, is a 1975 honors graduate of the University of Missouri, College of Agriculture. Dr. Doug attended the University of Missouri Veterinary College and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1981, with special honors awards including the Adrian J. Durant Avian Medicine Award, and elected membership into the Phi Zeta Veterinary Honors Society. Dr. Doug followed with graduate studies in Anthropology at Washington University, St. Louis. He serves on the boards of the “Loosen the Leash” and the “Center for American Archaeology” organizations in his spare time.

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